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You won’t make a million with the National Lottery! But buying UK shares in an ISA might do it

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So there I was on Saturday night, clutching my National Lottery ticket and checking my numbers. The £20m jackpot was the biggest for years and commanded plenty of attention in the media. Forget about UK shares for a second. Would this be the way I finally strike gold and joined the millionaire’s club?

I’m sure you know how my story ends. My two-decade duck of failing to scoop the top prize with Lotto goes on. But I wasn’t crying into my porridge the following morning. The lottery is, well, just that. It should be treated nothing more than a bit of fun. A needle-in-a-haystack opportunity of getting rich and retiring early.

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Yet many thousands of people continue to spend a small fortune on lottery tickets each and every week. With the chances of scooping the jackpot sitting at a whopping 45,057,474 to one, this is tantamount to throwing your money down the drain. Why leave your fate in the lap of the gods when studies show that buying UK shares is a proven way to get seriously rich?

Image of person checking their shares portfolio on mobile phone and computer

A better way to make a million!

Indeed, the number of Stocks and Shares ISA millionaires ballooned during the last decade. Apparently, more than 1,000 of Britons who have bought UK shares in one of these tax-efficient products now have a seat on millionaire’s row.

However, even if you don’t make a million, the average long-term investor can still expect to make delicious returns. Those who buy UK shares and hold them for a minimum of 10 years make on average an annual return of 8-10%. And you don’t even need to invest huge sums each month to make big money by buying UK shares.

Let’s say someone spends £20 a week on National Lottery tickets. Aside from winning the odd £30 minimum cash prize, over the long term they’re unlikely to have anything to show for their outlay. However, if they saved up these pounds and invested them in UK shares at the end of each month instead they’d have made — over the space of 30 years — anywhere between £122,000 and £179,000, based on those proven rates of return.

Getting rich with UK shares

It could be argued that the recent stock market crash provides an opportunity to make even bigger returns. Why? Well, it allows you and I to buy quality UK shares at rock-bottom prices today, and then watch them soar in value as economic conditions improve and profits rebound.

This is how those aforementioned ISA millionaires made their fortunes during the 2010s. They bought five-star shares for little price after the 2008/2009 banking crisis and watched them balloon in value.

This is why I continue to invest my hard-earned cash in UK shares instead of buying National Lottery tickets. The London Stock Exchange is packed with top stocks to get rich with in the years ahead. And you can discover many of these with The Motley Fool’s epic library of exclusive reports. They could even help you to make a million.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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